Liverpool's highest transfer fees received of all time

Daryl Finch
10 months ago

Rightfully or wrongly, Liverpool have garnered a reputation for being savvy operators in the transfer market in recent years.

Especially during the Jürgen Klopp era, the Reds have unearthed some real gems at bargain prices. However, with several high-profile players leaving on free transfers this summer, have Liverpool always got the best value when the time has come to move players on?

Here, we take a look at the 10 biggest transfer fees the club has received and where Fabinho's imminent £40m switch to Al-Ittihad would rank.

READ MORE: Liverpool's most expensive signings of all time

10. Rhian Brewster - £23.5m (Sheffield United, 2020)

Despite never having played in the Premier League, Liverpool demonstrated their negotiating prowess by selling academy product Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for £23.5m when he was just 20 years old.

Brewster gained attention after winning the Golden Boot in England's Under-17 World Cup triumph in 2017 but was never fully trusted by Klopp even after a successful loan with Swansea City in the 2019/20 season, where he scored 11 goals in 22 games.

Brewster's last involvement in a Liverpool shirt was to miss a crucial penalty in the shootout loss to Arsenal in the 2020 FA Community Shield.

9. Mamadou Sakho - £26m (Crystal Palace, 2017)

Signed from Paris Saint-Germain for £18m in September 2013, Mamadou Sakho quickly became a regular in the Rodgers side that mounted a surprise title challenge that season, partnering Martin Skrtel in central defence.

His influence continued in the early days of the Klopp era and although he played a key role in the Reds' run to the 2016 Europa League final, disciplinary issues meant he fell out of favour with the new coach who threatened to leave him on Alcatraz before softening his stance and sanctioning a loan to Crystal Palace. The Frenchman later joined them permanently, securing Liverpool a tidy profit.

8. Sadio Mané - £27.5m (Bayern Munich, 2022)

Sadio Mané completed Liverpool's largest outgoing transfer for four years when he left for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022 after the Reds narrowly missed out on the Quadruple.

The Senegalese's arrival was a catalyst for Liverpool's golden era under Klopp, as the club secured the 2018/19 Champions League and the 2019/20 Premier League title, solidifying his status as a club legend.

With just a year left on his contract, and having achieved all he could, Mané sought pastures new and the Reds recouped all of the around £34m paid to Southampton six years previously.

7. Xabi Alonso - £30m (Real Madrid, 2009)

Xabi Alonso was one of the first major signings of the Rafa Benítez era, joining from Real Sociedad for £10.7m in 2004, and was key to the success of the side during his five-year stay (including scoring the equalising goal in Istanbul).

Alongside Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Momo Sissoko, he formed "the best midfield in the world", as the song goes.

However, when Benítez surprisingly angled to replace him with Aston Villa's Gareth Barry, the Basque's head was turned by a big-money move to Real Madrid in 2009 worth £30 million.

Unsurprisingly, Alonso went on to have a trophy-laden career with club and country, including a World Cup, two European Championships, another Champions League title, one La Liga and three Bundesligas once he joined Bayern Munich.

6. Christian Benteke - £32m (Crystal Palace, 2016)

In the final of Rodgers' unsuccessful attempts to replace Luis Suárez, Christian Benteke joined from Aston Villa for £32.5m in July 2015.

During his single season with the Reds, which saw Klopp take over midway, Benteke scored just 10 goals before being sold to Crystal Palace, recouping the majority of the initial outlay.

5. Fabinho - £40m (Al Ittihad, 2023)

Had this transfer been suggested even a year before it happened, few would've believed it. However, the rise of the Saudi Pro League and Fabinho's 2022/23 decline ultimately meant a deal suited all parties in the summer of 2023.

With over 200 appearances and six trophies, Liverpool's 'Lighthouse' played a key role in the club's world domination, leaving as a legend amid the Reds' rebuild.

While many might've preferred Fabinho to stick around for another season at least, the offer from Saudi Arabia – which is roughly what Liverpool paid Monaco for him five years before — was simply too good to turn down.

4. Raheem Sterling - £49m (Manchester City, 2015)

Having seen his promotion from the youth teams fast-tracked by Brendan Rodgers, teenager Raheem Sterling impressed during Liverpool's near-miss for the title in 2014.

And with the club and the player's agent at loggerheads over a new deal, Manchester City capitalised and swooped with a transfer that cost an initial £44m, rising to £49 million with add-ons.

At just 20, this represented a significant gamble for the Manchester club, yet Sterling went on to establish himself as one of Europe's top attacking talents under Pep Guardiola before joining Chelsea in 2022.

3. Fernando Torres - £50m (Chelsea, 2011)

In a highly significant January transfer, Liverpool sold star striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea in 2011, setting a new British transfer record and making him the sixth most expensive player in history at the time.

During his three and a half years with the Reds following his around £20m move from Atlético Madrid, Torres established himself as one of the best number 9s in the world and the focal point of Spain's all-conquering side.

However, at club level, Liverpool couldn't match that success and Torres became disillusioned with what he considered the club's lack of ambition. A move to Chelsea, he thought, would give him a greater chance of winning trophies.

And so it proved, ultimately. Although Torres struggled initially at Stamford Bridge, he did score a crucial goal in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, contributing to Chelsea's eventual triumph in the competition.

2. Luis Suárez - £65m (Barcelona, 2014)

Luis Suárez, brought in from Ajax for £22.8m as a replacement for Fernando Torres in January 2011, was a sensation at Liverpool. After two relatively low-key seasons under Kenny Dalglish, he excelled under Rodgers and emerged as one of the world's best players during the 2013/14 season, scoring 31 goals and providing 11 assists in the Premier League as Liverpool finished second.

After Liverpool staved off interest from Arsenal and persuaded Suárez to stay for another year, the Uruguayan moved to Barcelona a year later for significantly more than the £40m+1 offered by the Gunners.

With the Catalan club, he continued to excel and formed part of the famed 'MSN' trio - considered among the best in history - with Lionel Messi and Neymar.

After an incredibly successful spell at Barcelona, he joined Atlético Madrid, helping them win the title in his first season.

1. Philippe Coutinho - £106m, rising to £142m (Barcelona, 2018)

One of the most expensive transfers in football history, the exact value of Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona remains unknown because of the complex structuring of the deal.

Pursued as Neymar's replacement, Coutinho's wish to join Barcelona was granted in January 2018 after more than 200 appearances for the Reds and with coach Jürgen Klopp loath to lose a player who had become a key part of his recently formed and firing Fab Four.

However, in keeping with Klopp's warnings about the move, Coutinho's time at the Camp Nou did not meet expectations, leading to a loan spell at Bayern Munich during the 2019/20 season, and an eventual move to Aston Villa where he has also failed to make an impact.

Having only paid Inter Milan £8.5m for the Brazilian's services in January 2013, and given the player's significant fall from grace, Coutinho's sale must go down as the best bit of business ever conducted by the club - especially as the proceeds funded the arrivals of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.

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